Chilly mornings, bitter nights. Sigh. Welcome to fall. This year, however, we can count on fashion for a dose of cozy hope. After all, frosty weather is a bit more bearable when you’re in style.
The trendlet? Long cardigans – fondly called dusters – are retro must-haves this year when paired with boyfriend jeans, A-line skirts, coat dresses, and, yes, people, yoga pants.
Where’s it come from? Cowboys wore dusters – ankle-length canvas or cotton coats – in the mid-1800s to protect their chaps from the dusty trails. Cardigans became fashionable in the 1920s, when Coco Chanel introduced knit skirt suits to women’s wear.
Dusters became cardigan-like in the 1970s, when designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Halston, and even Betsey Johnson showed them on runways as dresses – paired with knee-length boots – or outerwear over jeans and T-shirts. In the early 1980s, Donna Karan included a longish, silk jersey cardigan in one of her collections of seven easy pieces, and the free-spirited look took on a more businesslike personality.
Now, thanks to early adapters like Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen -- whose the Row has some sweet dusters this fall -- fashion is fully ensconced in all things casual. And dusters, whether fashioned from chunky wool blends, cashmere, or silk jersey, are scattered throughout many a retailer’s rack, from Tory Burch to H&M.
Who’s wearing them? Kendall Jenner (check), Rihanna (check), Beyoncé (check), Kim Kardashian (check). And any other busy woman who wants to be warm and stylish.
Would Elizabeth wear one? I wish, wish, wish I could have one in every neutral shade – black, nude, gray, blush – and colors, too: marsala, navy, plum. In other words . . . yaaass.
Should you wear one? Only if you want to feel toasty warm and look amazingly cool.